It is difficult for me to express in words what I see in those landscapes. I am certain that there are several interconnected layers in my seeing, to which I react emotionally. In its first expressive layer, (Be)Longing lets me show beauty and serenity of places that are rather forbidding to a man. I am curious about the magnetic attraction of a desert in which one step too far under the Delicate Arch is a step towards death. Why do the slot canyons of the Navajo land fascinate with their painterly, unique beauty, while standing in them in a heavier rain leads to a tragedy? The difficulty of living in many of the places that I have been recording is as sheer as our souls’ yearning to belong to them. The further I am from the arid Mojave the more I long for it. Circumstances caused those forces to remain separate. My photographs let me, and I hope the viewers, experience the exaltation of a moment when those feelings join each other in an image.
Articles | Photographs by Rafal Lukawiecki- Page 2
All of my large format photographs require at least several days of work. Film, which consists of individual sheets, has to be manually loaded and unloaded from its holders in the dark. Steps for setting up the camera, choosing the film and lens planes, selecting the lens itself and calculating the exposure parameters take about an hour. After developing and drying the negatives, I start interpreting them in my darkroom using a photographic enlarger.
“Can I see your work online?” is a frequent questions I get. My silver-gelatin prints are designed to be seen on your wall, or at least viewed directly with nothing between their surface and your eyes, except, perhaps, some quality glass. They have a brilliance and tonality that no computer monitor can show. Still, I need to be able to show you a good approximation on my web site. For that reason, I rely on your monitor’s ability to show the entire grayscale.